In a world dominated by image, design often tilts the scale to the success of a product.

The originality and the pleasantness of an object, packaging or a website make the public distinguish and choose your product or service rather than another.

With the registration of a design or model, the external appearance of a product or part of is protected.

The registration of the design allows you to protect, against any attempt to imitate, your creation in an effective and lasting way over time.

If you're wondering ...

The registration of a European or Italian design lasts 5 years, renewable every 5 years up to a maximum of 25 years.


It is possible to protect any industrial or craft manufacture including its characterizing features such as lines, colors, materials, shape and structure.

Packaging, graphic symbols and characters, as well as parts of the product can also be protected.

The registration of those features determined solely by technical function is not permitted.

No, the granting of the protection of a design is not subject to an aesthetic judgment.

The external aspect that is protected need not have a particular pleasantness but is required "new" and have "distinctive character".

Fortunately, protection is also provided for unregistered design, however, the law privileges those who decide to make public and certain their right by applying for registration, limiting protection for unregistered designs to:

Shorter duration: 3 years versus 25 years of registered design.

Nature of the copy: is conditioned to a reasonable proof that copying was intentional versus regardless of intentionality for registered design.

Proof of rights: requires proving prior disclosure versus exhibit of the registration certificate only.

In short, the owner of an unregistered design must be able to produce the following evidence:

- proof of the date and place of the first disclosure;

- proof that the alleged copying refers to the design as disclosed (including its main features and in particular those conferring it a “distinctive character”);

- evidence that the alleged copying parties could have been aware of the disclosure itself.

- evidence that the infringer has actually copied the protected design.

Therefore, if there is evidence that the design has been disclosed within 3 years and that the copying was intentional (with all the requirements above), protection can be sought.